Over the years, I’ve developed an affinity of sorts for winter harvest bao zhongs. I find the taste cleaner and smoother than the spring harvest. A little ironic considering how its fresh floral character so epitomizes spring. Recently I was fortunate enough to receive a sample of Floating Leaves’ Winter Competition Bao Zhong with my order and wasted no time brewing up a cup.
Bao zhong is a tea whose aroma should be savored as much as the taste. For this reason, my preferred method of preparing this tea is grandpa style. It also helps stretch those expensive competition grade teas. Upon opening the bag, I was greeting with a lovely sweet floral aroma of orchid and hyacinth. I steeped 1g of tea in an 8oz mug using water heated to just under 190 F. The first sip was slightly floral but thin and weak, probably because I started drinking too soon. After waiting for a few more leaves to drop to the bottom, I took another sip and got a sweet pea like flavor accompanied by notes of honeydew and gardenia. At the same time, delicate lilac and vegetal aromas wafted from my mug.
When the mug was halfway empty, I topped it off with boiling water and took a sip. The sweet pea tones were stronger this time and came with notes of orchid and warm morning dew. This was a floral-vegetal affair with a lot more sweetness. A third top off resulted in a similar tasting tea, though simpler due to the flavors having melded together.
Overall, I enjoyed this tea though it wasn’t quite the flower bomb that baozhongs I’ve had in the past were. It leans slightly vegetal with a sweet pea taste interspersed with florals. Doesn’t have the ethereal flavor of my favorite competition bao zhong from BTTC’s, but still hits the spot for me.
Flavors: Flowers, Peas